Everyday gamers may have the game design bug in them without even knowing it! With games like LittleBigPlanet, Scribblenauts and Minecraft, gamers find themselves creating new mechanics of games, new worlds in these games, and even full-fledged games within these games. These gamers who spend their time playing these games find themselves actually making games, but within the limitations of the game’s engine. With a little push, these gamers can turn into full-fledged developers.
LittleBigPlanet is a PlayStation exclusive series that lives and dies by the mantra of “Play Create
Share”. The core game is a puzzle platformer with players controlling a little man made up of sackcloth, Sackboy, through a variety of levels. LittleBigPlanet’s big difference is that its levels are made within the game through a deep level editor that allows players not only to manipulate the aesthetics of a level and the platforms, but also to create full cutscenes, to orchestrate full songs, and to change the mechanics and behaviors of certain AI.
The series brings to life the idea that gamers really can make games and offers a variety of tutorials to help them with the basics of their engine and the basics of game design. Developers of LittleBigPlanet, Media Molecule, have even hired level makers who have showcased their talents with their level editor.
Much like LittleBigPlanet, Minecraft is a game all about creating amazing things with the tools given to you by the game. Placed in the middle of a large sandbox, gamers have access to what are essentially LEGO blocks in the world’s landscape and even the equivalent of real life electronics in the game’s redstone which works on the simple on-off mechanic. Gamers have created full computers, calculators, and games within Minecraft using the aforementioned LEGO blocks and redstone in conjunction.
While not as accessible as LittleBigPlanet or Minecraft, Scribblenauts is another game that promotes incredible creative thinking.
Scribblenauts prides itself on allowing gamers the freedom to decide how they will go about finding solutions to the puzzles found inside. Gamers simply input the names of items or tools and see what works. The latest title, Scribblenauts Unlimited, allows gamers to create their own items from the ground up. They are even allowed to “program” these items with certain behaviors and attitudes, using a basic logic language.
Gamers are essentially adding to the library of non-playable characters available in the game simply by making use of the game’s engine. They even get to experiment with programming, a key part of learning game design.
These three games are among many that allow gamers to get into the nitty-gritty of game design. With new technologies moving forward, one can only imagine the possibilities. Combined with a degree in game design, these games are creating a new type of developer. Soon gamers will be automated, developing their own games.
Get information on game design degrees using the form on this page. School representatives will guide you through the process and answer any questions you may have about the various programs that are available to help you earn your game design degree.
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